How To Run A Successful Student Government Campaign
Image Credits: Courtesy of the author
After successfully running in three different SGA elections from my freshman through senior year, there is a lot I learned about what is effective and helps spread your message. These tips should help you get ahead and hopefully gain the victory on campus.
Know your budget
Some schools allow a budget for campaigns. My school did not. Anything I spent was out of pocket. If you do have a budget, make sure to declare everything you are purchasing to use.
This may sound cheesy, but it does help people remember your name when they go to vote. My name does not rhyme with anything and neither did my running mates, so we just made a logo and used that. Anything that people can recognize and will spark their memory when it comes time to select a name is beneficial.
Utilize cheap advertising
Use chalk on the sidewalks leading into the polling place or even around campus. Instead of making a ton of large posters, use window markers on spaces where that is available. If your school has a spirit rock, make sure to reserve it and paint it during election week. Make printed flyers but rather than paying for colored ink, just buy a pack of multi-colored paper to print the flyers on like these. Use the funny or cute flyers, it may seem cliché but it gives people a laugh.
Talk to other student organizations
SGA is the head of all student organizations so take the time to attend as many of their meetings as you can. Talk with their presidents about speaking for a few minutes at the meeting and taking questions. This goes a long way when each organization feels a connection with you. If you can, let them know a goal that you have that would positively impact their organization specifically.
Food, food, food!
Every college student loves free food. When you are talking to other students, going to meetings, or even in class bring small food items to pass out. Use cheap food and something that is easy to pass out like cookies or bubble gum. When I ran my freshman year for SGA, I gave out cookies with slogans that said “I may be a rookie, but I’m one smart cookie.”
This is something that is pricey but if your school has a large population this is a fun way for people to show their support. Set it up so it is during election week and people can use it when they cast their vote. Learn how to make one here.
Create a page or account for your campaign if you have a large campus community to reach. Post videos about what your plans are and share ideas you hope to achieve. Encourage your friends on campus to share your posts so you can gain more exposure.
Get out and talk to people
This is the MOST important thing you can do. Every student that you talk to is someone that can vote for you. Talk to everyone you can, in the dining hall, the dorms, your classes, intramurals, anywhere. If you see someone sitting there go up and introduce yourself and let them get to know you. Be yourself and be genuine because that is the most important aspect of running the campaign.